A desparate cry for help!

A Plaquemines Parish cleanup crew discovered broken eggs and crushed chicks on Queen Bess Island on Tuesday, and parish leaders are blaming BP workers cleaning up the oil spill for the damage.
"The people BP sent out to clean up oil trampled the nesting grounds of Brown Pelicans and other birds," said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. [...]
"Pelicans just came off the endangered species list in November of last year. [...]
"The lack of urgency and general disregard for Louisiana's wetlands and wildlife is enough to make you sick," Nungesser said.

Once again the people of SE Louisiana find their lives and very existence as a unique culture is under assault from an environmental disaster, this one caused by a group of soul-less Capitalists who determined that their profits outweighed our lives, and a Federal response that is actually making the Bush Katrina response look timely and direct in comparison. Mr Obama you were 'my president', someone whom I took great delight in voting for and now you have proven me wrong about you. That your 'big speech' took 57 days to happen, and your 'strong federal response' has yet to materialize in any meaningful way is simply unforgivable. Our lives as we know them are at stake here and it appears that it may well already be too late to save us from the murder of those lives by BP. There was plenty of opportunity for Federal intervention long before now, consider the following:

"In the last three years, according to the Center for Public Integrity, BP accounted for '97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the refining industry by government safety inspectors' — including 760 citations for 'egregious, willful' violations (compared with only eight at the two oil companies that tied for second place). Hayward’s predecessor at BP, ousted in a sex-and-blackmail scandal in 2007, had placed cost-cutting (and ever more obscene profits) over safety, culminating in the BP Texas City refinery explosion that killed 15 and injured 170 in 2005. Last October The Times uncovered documents revealing that BP had still failed to address hundreds of safety hazards at that refinery in the four years after the explosion, prompting the largest fine in the history of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (The fine, $87 million, was no doubt regarded as petty cash by a company whose profit reached nearly $17 billion last year.)"

Op-Ed Columnist - Don’t Get Mad, Mr. President. Get Even. -

Where is the protection from this foreign predator that we should be able to count on from our government? Do you honestly think that a bunch of name calling at a Congressional hearing prior to APPROVING 35.8 Billion in BP tax breaks is what we need? We are going to pay them back for cleaning their own mess!!?? How is it that there is no discussion of criminal liability for BP decision makers? These assholes belong in jail! Now we get word of a 20 billion dollar fund (over 4 years) to 'make it right'; does anyone actually think that this represents even 1% of the damage that this spill has done and will do? By the time this well is capped the outflow will be over 100 times Exxon Valdez. Our lives here are teetering on the brink of extinction from these irresponsible acts of greed and yet no one wants to take seriously the need for an all out, nothing held back response, instead they talk of 'bigger issues'!

Let me tell you something: for us right now there are no such things as 'bigger issues'. Without our fisheries everything here dies, our restaurants close, the tourists leave, the bars and music clubs close next and all the jobs are gone and once again SE Louisiana residents are spread across the country as strangers in a strange land; one that has already made it clear that we don't count for much. In the next 5 years the average homeowner here can expect to loose 20% or more of their homes' value, huge numbers of us will be unemployed and our beloved seafood dishes a distant memory, now too expensive if available at all - how does anyone compensate us for that?!


  1. The breaking news at this time is the decision of Eastern District of Louisiana Judge Martin Feldman to strike down the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico:
    Obama Drilling Moratorium Overturned in Curious Court Decision

  2. "Several companies that ferry people and supplies and provide other services to offshore rigs argued that the moratorium was arbitrarily imposed after the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers and blew out the well 5,000 feet underwater. It has spewed anywhere from 67 million to 127 million gallons of oil.

    U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and has owned stock in a number of petroleum-related companies, sided with the plaintiffs.


    He also warned that the shutdown would have an "immeasurable effect" on the industry, the local economy and the U.S. energy supply.

  3. All this reminds me of the furor over the northern California old growth redwoods years ago. "Jobs, jobs, jobs," Pacific Lumber cried. And the local loggers echoed them. Never mind that if the old growth trees were cut down the jobs would last only a couple of years, and the trees would be gone forever. And who believes Pacific Lumber was truly concerned about the jobs? Or the judge in the drilling case?

    What's sad, what's truly said, is not so much that fat cats and CEOs think only in terms of the "bottom line," but that millions of ordinary Americans have adopted this orthodoxy against their own better self interest.

    That judge in the oil drilling case should have recused himself. But when corruption is a way of life why quibble over niceties like that?

  4. Bob Drogin reporting from Pascagoula, Miss., for The Los Angeles Times—

    Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are using their noses to spot contamination in seafood, trying to ensure that the BP spill doesn't pollute the nation's food supply.

    Each day, Robert Downs's team of seven sensory experts dip their noses into large Pyrex bowls of snapper, tuna and other raw seafood to test for even a whiff of the pungent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

    This is not Grand Cru wine.

    "We use specific terms for the aroma," said Downs, who supervises the seafood smellers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's marine lab here. "Diesel oil. Bunker oil. Asphalt. Rubber-band-like. Tar."

    More here.

    Meanwhile today in New York, Chevron's efforts to subpoena 600 hours of outtakes form Director Joe Berlinger's documentary film (CRUDE) focused on oil industry environmental practices in Ecuador continue in earnest: CRUDE Fight for the First Amendment.

    Berlinger worked on "Crude" for three years and has thus been able to gain the confidence of his subjects and show situations that ordinarily would not be open to outsiders. As noted in this editorial, "were the material in question notes gathered by a journalist in pursuit of a story, the journalist's privilege, which recognizes the societal benefit of allowing journalists to shield their unpublished notes, would almost certainly have protected it. So the issues were: Was Berlinger a journalist, and do the protections for notes extend to film outtakes?"

    On May 6th, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered Berlinger to hand over all the outtakes to Chevron.

    Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments over whether Berlinger should be compelled to do so and turn over to Chevron all 600 hours of the raw footage.